CAD drafting other people’s ideas is all very well, but in mechanical engineering the real profits come from patenting your own successful designs. Today, there are numerous mechanical CAD design packages which take your product ideas from initial concepts to fully manufactured reality – but the hard work begins before you ever upload your CAD drafting software.
Having thoroughly researched your design to see if it is practically and economically viable, you then need to do a patent search. The best option is to get a professional patent attorney to do this for you – that way, you can be certain your patent isn’t violating any already in existence.
Provided the design is patentable, you can apply for a provisional patent. The date of invention and other details will be recorded at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); this protects your invention for one year from the date it is filed. After that, it becomes available to the public. A provisional patent doesn’t have to be too in-depth; it just needs to explain what your product is, how it works and how it is constructed, with a few technical sketches for clarity.
Next comes the Alpha prototype, or Proof of Concept Design. This is the model you build to show the design is feasible and will function as conceptualized. Depending on the complexity, this can range from a simple cardboard mock-up to 3D modeling using advanced mechanical CAD design tools and digitally machined parts, but does not require aesthetic elements. The Beta prototype is the final stage, realizing the design in full.
We at Enventure Technologies offer a full range of mechanical engineering services, from CAD drafting to building prototypes.